Janice Mitchell: vocals (interviewee)
Jim Beishline: piano
Jerry Livingston: bass
Darryl Washington: drums
When and how did your group form?
Janice: The way we got together was fate. Jim and I had never met, and he called me to do a gig with him and his trio back in the nineties. That was when we discovered that our styles complemented each other. So he started arranging more and more songs for me and calling me whenever he needed a vocalist on a job. Eventually we teamed up and became a unit.
Janice: Buffalo, N.Y
Is your family musical?
Janice: Not in a professional sense, but my sisters and I sang a lot together growing up and I consider them to be quite talented. Also, my late husband’s uncle was the world renowned bassist, Red Mitchell. My husband, Brian, was Ray Charles’s lead alto player.
I think I can accurately say that I’m “self home-schooled”, since I have a thorough understanding of music theory from reading books, and I also play a little piano.
Which famous musicians do you admire?
Janice: Ella, Judith Hill, Rachelle Farrell, Dianne Reeves, Sayesha Mercado, Lalah Hathaway, Kurt Elling,
Where is your favorite place to sing in Buffalo?
Janice: The Tralf
How would you describe your music style? Influences?
Janice: Jazz seasoned with gospellish blues.
Where do you practice?
Janice: Wherever I am when I’m alone. . . usually at home, but also in the car while driving
Do you sing covers?
Do you play/sing original music? If so, who writes the music and the lyrics?
Janice: No one. I’d rather listen to them than perform for them. But I think it would be fun to do some vocally playful things with Bobby McFerrin.
What are your strengths?
Janice: I’m straight from the heart. My goal is a passionate and honest delivery in song. I think I achieve it.
What are your weaknesses?
Janice: The promotion/business end of things. I prefer to just sing.
Do you have a label? A recording studio? Have you recorded a CD?
Janice: No. I’m overdue for a CD of my own. I’ve sung on everyone else’s.
Where and when is your next gig?
Janice: Next gig is . . . .
Tuesday, May 28 | Milkie’s Elmwood | 7:00 – 10:00 pm – See Facebook
Wednesday June 5 | Pan American Grill and Brewery | The Lafayette Hotel | 6:30pm
Friday, July 5 | CoCo | 888 Main Street | 8:30 pm | Buffalo
But the performance that I’m looking most forward to this summer is The Historic Lewiston Jazz Festival August 24 – 4:30pm to 6:30pm. We’ll be on the main stage.
If you play in a group/band (or solo) here in Buffalo, and have an upcoming gig at a venue(s) in the city, consider sending buffalo rising an email requesting to be emailed a Q&A interview that we can then post, along with concert dates. It’s a fun and easy way to get your name in front of another audience that is interested in learning about the local music scene. The requirements are: